Facing a challenging era of internet piracy and peer-to-peer file-sharing, the best 2000s musicians had to fight harder than ever to command our attention. After all, when set against the social backdrop of the “war on terror” and the suppression of our civil liberties, providing a soundtrack to the decade was never going to be easy. By turns confrontational and experimental, the best 2000s songs offered a scintillating mix of escapism, outspokenness and candour, crossing a wide range of genres from pop to indie, metal and hip-hop. From Kings Of Leon to Lady Gaga, these are the artists that defined the noughties…
Listen to our Pop playlist here, and check out our best 2000s musicians, below.
20: Biffy Clyro
As much at home playing in front of indie-loving NME types as they are in front of Kerrang!-leaning metalheads at Download Festival, alt-rock trio Biffy Clyro went from scrappy underground guitar-thrashers to beloved BBC Radio 1 favourites thanks to captivating rock albums such as 2007’s Puzzle and 2009’s Mercury Music Prize-nominated Only Revolutions. From the over-the-top bombast of Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies to the far-reaching ascendancy of Mountains, the best Biffy Clyro songs did as much as any others to define the early part of the 21st century. After joining a classic-rock lineage by working with Pink Floyd album cover designer Storm Thorgerson and entering the UK’s public consciousness when their soaring power ballad Many Of Horror (When We Collide) was covered by X Factor winner Matt Cardle, the group finished the decade as one of the best British bands of their time, helping to bring rock’n’roll back from the brink.
Must hear: Mountains